Having captured three of four points in two games last week which the Senators easily could have lost in regulation, you’d imagine most Sens fans would be ecstatic with the team’s good fortune considering that Ottawa hasn’t played anything resembling its best hockey.
Blowing a two-goal lead and giving a division rival two points in the standings is never good, but when that rival is Toronto, it definitely makes it more difficult to find the positive in things.
Take for example the fact we’re two regular season games into the Bobby Ryan Senators era and already it feels like we’re micro-analyzing each shift and focusing on what he isn’t, instead of focusing on what he is.
Ryan may never be the greatest skater and yes, his decision-making with the puck at times has bordered on careless, and I’m not really sure who to believe when it comes to Ryan’s alleged lack of conditioning, but, you just have to keep reminding yourself that things will get better. He does have 7 shots in 2 games for starters.
Maybe the experience of living through Heater's 2005/06 debut with the team and record 22 straight games with a point has forever set expectations at an unreasonable level.
Of course things haven’t been helped by the fact that Silfverberg, the centerpiece to the haul of prospects and picks that Anaheim received from Ottawa, already has two goals and seems to be fitting in just fine in Anaheim. It's unfortunate we were deprived of seeing an extended look of what Silf could do with healthy Spezza. This was one of the better young ones Ottawa had developed in years, it sucked to give him up. But that's the price you pay.
Fortunately, the goals with Ryan will come and the Sens will continue to refine their game. It certainly won’t be getting easier though as this team heads out on a west coast swing where they traditionally do not fare well.
The good news is that if we’re looking at things from a #fancystats perspective, the Senators have fared quite well. And if they continue to dominate puck possession at even strength when the score is close, things will be just fine.
And as an aside, the last link that I used will take you to a new hockey statistics site ExtraSkater. Put succinctly, it’s an incredible site. While others languish because they lack a polished look and intuitive functionality, this is instantly one of the most well-structured and useful stats site on the web. Check it out for yourself.
Furthermore, according to their Twitter account (@extraskater), the site intends to track games and publish in real-time at some point in the future, so keep an eye out for that too.
Mark Stone Injures Shoulder
Joy Lindsay is back in the B-Sens fold doing some freelance work for SenatorsExtra, and according to her latest both Mark Borowiecki (neck) and Mark Stone (shoulder) were injured during the first period of Saturday night’s game versus Syracuse.
While Borocowiecki was back at practice today, Stone was not. It’s the latest blow to a prospect who has had difficulty staying healthy.
Bryan Murray reflected on Stone’s injury problems during an interview on TSN1200:
“Well, first of all, Mark Stone has to play. He’s been hurt a lot in the last year. He hurt his finger yesterday in the game, we thought it was broken, in the game (versus the Islanders) in Barrie. But, Mark just has to have a sequence of 25-30 games at least where he’s just an everyday player - he can relax and go play and score and play the way we think he’s capable of. And he’ll do that; he’s that kind of character. I think he’ll make the best effort possible to stay as a real good, regular player for that Binghamton team.”
Getting back to Borowiecki however, if the organization was downplaying concussion-like symptoms, it wouldn't be the first time that's been suspected.
Borowiecki missed 8 games last December after engaging in this fight which ended poorly with a flurry of punches to his temple.
Saturday night's shootout loss wasn't without some controversy as the Sens questioned the legality of Raymond's spinorama move - just check out Bryan Murray's reaction at the 0:22 mark of the above video.
Murray pressbox pans are the best.
After Kyle Turris expressed that he and his fellow teammates were under the impression that spinoramas were no longer permitted as a shootout move, Colin Campbell emailed the Ottawa Sun and put things rather bluntly.
“Participants on the conference call should listen a little more attentively. We said spinorama moves on shootouts will be more closely observed for infractions regarding goalie interference and non-continuous motion of player or puck. Please give your players this message."
In the post-game, Paul MacLean labelled the move in question a "very unfair play". Though I don't remember him saying the same thing when a certain Latvian tried it vs. Boston in April.
Perty B-Sens Goals
So yeah, how about this Z-BAD one-timer and Ceci OT winner from the Bingo home opener?